Dean's Blog

Dean’s Blog – Sunday 20th December 2015

Nine Lessons and Carols: Sunday 20th December 2015

The Nine Lessons and Carols was once again a lovely service. The Manama singers joined us for a couple of carols from their repertoire: A little child there is ybore, from the 16th century and the Huron Carol Twas in the time of wintertime the oldest Canadian carol written probably in 1642 by Jean de Brébeuf, a Jesuit missionary. The readers who represented the variety of countries that make up our congregation, read the lessons very well, but undoubtedly the star, just peeping over the top of the pulpit, was Neha Mani. The telling of the Christmas story within the overall story of redemption in the whole of the Biblical story is always a very powerful one and I hope touches the hearts of all who attend.

Thames Remembers: Sunday 20th December 2015

It was a joy to welcome Adrian and Anne Dite from Thame at the morning service who were visiting Bahrain to lay a special cross on the grave of Warrant Officer Joseph Castle from Thame who died in Bahrain, having served with the Royal Engineers in the Cyprus

Emergency. Thame Remembers is commemorating the centenary of the First World War by researching all the names on Thame War Memorials – from all conflicts – to discover more about their lives, to identify the location of their grave or memorial, and place a “Thame Remembers” cross on each resting place, wherever in the world that may be. Most of our small Sunday morning congregation came to the Old Cemetery after the service, where we were joined by three member of the crew of HMS Penzance, who had volunteered to be present for this act of recognition of Joseph castle’s service and to remember him.

After the brief ceremony and an interview from Mai Al Khatab of the Gulf Weekly who have shown great interest in the Thame Remembers project we took Adrian and Anne to lunch at the British Club before they got on their plane back to Doha where they are spending Christmas with their son. For more information on this worldwide project do explore

Presents for Seafarers and Syrian Refugee Appeal: Saturday 19th December 2015

Each year the Cathedral community initiates an appeal with Stephen, the Mission to Seafarers Chaplain, to give gifts for seafarers visiting Bahrain over the Christmas season. This year a workparty

wrapped more than 300 Christmas parcels with donations from both the US Base and The American Women’s Associaton. All this has been in addition to the support of the Gulf Weekly/ DHL Christmas Appeal of blankets and socks for Syrian refugees which has produced a wonderfully generous response both within and beyond the Cathedral community.

National Day Celebrations: Wednesday 16th December 2015

Jon and I were invited to join the National Day celebrations in the courtyard / parade ground of Sakhir Palace

and were given a front row seat in the shade, which was an added bonus. There was a 21 gun salute, a military parade with a military band, a speech from His Majesty King Hamad and the presentation of awards and medals, recognizing varieties of service. After the event we met a couple of the ladies given awards; one was an aircraft engineer captain and another worked in the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Following the pres entation of awardnational_day_Bishops

His Majesty did a tour of the parade ground and, as we were in the front row sitting with the Roman Catholic Bishop Camillo, he came to shake our hands and we were able to give him our congratulations on the occasion of National Day on behalf of the St Christopher’s Cathedral community.

CATS and St Christopher’s School Winter Concert

Two events outside the Cathedral, but involving several of our Cathedral community, have been the performance

of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical CATS by MASK and St Christopher’s School Winter concert. CATS was a very professional production held at the rugby club: the set the voices, the acting and the chorography all came together in a wonderful production by both children and adults.

And then we thoroughly enjoyed St Christopher’s School Winter concert and in particular the Cantata, whose singing was crisp and clear, and the music, the narration and the beautiful animation on screen of Raymond Briggs delightful story of The Snowman


ECC Christmas Party: Saturday 12th December 2015

We were glad to attend the ECC Christmas party at the Al Saffir Hotel. These folk, who give their time as volunteers to serving the needy, also know how to party and as well as excellent food there were carols, a quiz, games and a home written sketch about the true joy of Christmas in giving. Claude, a long-standing member of the ECC was honoured with gifts and speeches from several volunteers as he and his wife will be returning home to Goa.


Children of the World: 11th December 2015

The final presentation of the Nativity Play is always something of an anxiety in The Deanery as it is usually the only ‘dress’ performance with the whole cast present. There had been a run through with many of the young people present

on the Wednesday, which had gone well, but the anxiety remains…. In the end, as always, they rose to the occasion and did brilliantly! The theme of the play was how children

in different countries celebrate the birth of Christ, a theme which is clearly so appropriate for an international congregation such as ours. The countries chosen for the play were India, China, the Czech Republic, Kenya, Columbia and South Africa. In our congregation several other countries could have been chosen too. Each country group gave a gift from their country to Jesus and sang a song from that country.

Carols in The British Embassy Garden: Thursday 10th December, 2015

This is an annual British community event hosted by the Ambassador and his wife, so this was the first occasion for our new Ambassador, Simon Martin and his wife Sophie and it wasa very happy occasion. The singing was led by a choir and small brass group from St Christopher’s School. Unfortunately, it clashed with the 40th day of Muharram, so some of the roads leading to the Embassy were closed. Tricia and I walked from the Cathedral, very pleasant at this time of the year (especially when the streets are closed!) and only taking 25 minutes, but others travelling from further afield got caught up in the traffic jams. However, it was a very happy evening and appreciated by all who attended.